Say what you will about Yahoo, but I’ve always liked that they’ve generally realized the value of reaching out to feature phone users — who, according to ComScore’s latest numbers, still comprise three quarters of the current US mobile market.
For instance, Yahoo apparently has deals with many wireless carriers to have its mobile offerings listed in the default menu options for feature phone web browsers. This generates a lot of traffic to Yahoo News — and in turn, to lots of news sites.
Now they’re cooking up something else that should interest news and content publishers who are considering their mobile strategy.Â Today on the Knight Digital Media Center site, I wrote:
Yahoo to launch personalized mobile content platform
The bottom line for news orgs:
Feature phone users are especially likely to desire content personalization, given the difficulty of navigating and searching web sites from those devices. If this Yahoo platform makes that easier for consumers, and if Yahoo offers some fair revenue opportunities for news publishers, then a platform like this might be a useful complement to a news organizationâ€™s own direct mobile offerings.
Right now there’s lots of buzz about the latest big deal in the media business: AOL bought the Huffington Post for $315 million. Amid the flurry of reactions and speculations, my friend, colleague, and mentor Susan Mernit offered two observations I found especially intriguing…
A few months ago I moved into the edge of Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood, near the Piemont and Pill Hill districts. It’s a really interesting part of town — but I’ve been puzzled why the nearby stretch of 40th St. has seemed kinda semi-vacant and lackluster.
Over on OaklandLocal, I just published a story where I interviewed the entrepreneurial co-owners of a new restaurant opening just around the corner from me.
See:Â Homeroom opens next week: Could mac & cheese revitalize 40th St.?
That interview shed some interesting light on the local situation for small businesses, and which opportunities might lie almost literally in my backyard. I’ll have to watch this more closely.
And in the meantime, mac & cheese… nomnomnom…
Last July, as I was preparing to ditch my iPhone for an Android phone, I complained on my CNN Tech mobile blog about how hard it was to find Android apps without an Android phone. There were some workarounds and third-party directories, but still it was much harder than it needed to be.
Why does this issue matter? Prospective Android users (especially people contemplating switching from another platform, like iPhone or BlackBerry) often want to know which apps are available on Android before they commit to that switch.
Today, Google finally corrected this oversight…
Earlier I wrote about how I thought it was a mistake for News Corp to invest so lavishly in The Daily, the first-ever iPad-only newspaper.
This morning, as I listened to the streaming audio of Rupert Murdoch’s official unveiling of this publication, I saw a headline that made me think Murdoch — and any content publisher or retailer — should be especially wary about depending too heavily for revenue delivered via iPhone or iPad apps. It was:Â Apple blocks Sony e-book app. Is Kindle next?
In a nutshell, Apple recently rejected Sony’s new e-reader app from its app store because it jumped users out of the app and into the browser to buy new e-books. This strategy skirts Apple’s considerable 30% cut of all in-app purchases, and it’s how Amazon has handled e-book sales for its popular Kindle iPhone and iPad apps since the beginning.
I did some research this, and it looks like Apple is sending some potentially destructive messages to the iOS app ecosystem they’ve worked so hard to create. So I wrote about this today in my CNN Tech mobile blog…
UPDATE FEB. 2: Apple rejected Sony’s new e-reader app from its app store — a move that makes Murdoch’s lavish investment in The Daily look even riskier…
On Wednesday morning, News Corp. will hold a press event to unveil the first-ever iPad-only newspaper, The Daily. The little that we know about this project raises some pretty big questions, and I suspect that after the announcement most of those questions will remain. Here’s what I’d like to know:
How can this possibly be worth such a massive up-front investment?… Continue reading
I just listened to an interesting Gov 2.0 Radio podcast about how nightclubs along LA’s Sunset Strip have been using social media to collaborate for local business/community development. Pretty cool.
â€˜The Social Stripâ€™ â€“ Nic Adler on Social Media for Community Development
In my latest CNN Tech mobile blog post, I riffed on the recent mixed signals Verizon and AT&T have been sending about whether they would offer unlimited data plans for the iPhone. But unlimited data plans may not be around long for any smartphone (or tablet, or mifi device, etc.), simply because of the difficulty of managing a growing proliferation of data-hungry mobile devices on wireless broadband networks.
See:Â Unlimited data for the iPhone? Don’t bet on it long term
Just after I filed that story, I noticed a relevant Jan. 25 post by Kevin Fitchard on Connected Planet:
Will bill shock be the death of tiered data plans, or the other way around?
Some key exerpts… Continue reading
Yesterday I noted that on Poynter.org, Damon Kiesow picked up on my call for news organizations to pay more attention to feature phones in their mobile strategies.
See:Â News publishers need to reach the 74% of Americans on feature phones
But some of comments from journalists who read that story indicate some pretty common misunderstandings that people in the media business often have concerning feature phones.
I’m not faulting my colleagues for these misunderstandings. It’s understandable — they’re as drenched in smartphone/tablet hype as anyone who gets tech news. So I hope no one takes this post as disrespect.
However, since news orgs ostensibly have a mission to serve their entire communities (not just the people who can afford high-end mobile devices), and since advertising and similar revenue models generally work better when you reach more people., I thought I’d point out and clear up some of these feature phone fallacies…
Over at the Knight Digital Media Center at USC site today, I wrote about howÂ MinnPost reports first surplus, diverse revenue sources are key.
I thought it was especially interesting to read into their annual report. It’s a good example of how news startups, especially those with a geographic focus, need to explore several possible revenue streams. The good thing about the nonprofit model is, I think, it gives you more options to take in revenue.
Good job, MinnPost!